What do Americans really think about President Obama's executive order on immigration? It is really hard to tell.
The Washington Post found two polls that gave conflicting results. The ABC News poll found that 56 percent of Americans say Republicans should block Obama’s proposal, while the results from a CBS News poll found 55 percent telling Congress to “let it stand.”
The difference is in the way the question is framed to the poll audience. While the ABC poll listed “as many as four million” affected immigrants, the CBS poll wrote “some illegal immigrants.” The wording in the two polls changed the outcome.
President Obama's speech last November laid out three key immigration reforms he would enact himself, one of which was to allow undocumented immigrants who have been in America for more than five years a path to citizenship.
Between mid 2013 and early 2014, support for citizenship for undocumented workers ranged from 46 to 81 percent in public polls. As of 2012, the total number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. was over 11 million.
The issue of immigration reform hasn’t been fully supported or fully rejected among lawmakers. Untill Obama's order, Republicans and Democrats were not concrete about their position. Now, the issue has turned to the president's constitutional authority to enact such an order, instead of the original issue of immigration reform.
Yet, the Republicans in Congress have already voted on a bill to de-fund the department of homeland security and passed an amendment against Obama’s order. The overwhelming Republican majority might not be reflective of American views, especially as the bill can be seen as a political move at Obama.
For the President, the move has helped, as Business Insider writes the immigration order has contributed to the rise in his approval rating.
So while the polls have shown support for both sides, the immigrants looking for comprehensive reform will have to wait until Americans can unify on a single issue.